Smoking is a preventable cause of poor pregnancy outcomes across the world that leads to cases of maternal and infant morbidity, as well as mortality (Dennis, 2016). It is one of the major public health challenges in developed countries such as the United States. The problem is aggravated by its high rate of prevalence among young women.
Smoking during pregnancy as a way of relaxation should be replaced with healthy alternatives because the habit compromises the body’s immunity, a situation that is unhealthy for an expectant woman. In addition, it increases blood pressure and predisposes women to stroke (Dennis, 2016). These factors can act as threats to the life of an unborn baby. Therefore, pregnant women avoid smoking.
Smoking cessation during pregnancy helps to reduce the levels of carbon monoxide in the blood (Dennis, 2016). It diminishes the vulnerability of an expectant woman to diseases such as cancer, stroke, and coronary heart disease, among others (Dennis, 2016). Smoking cessation also protects pregnant women from exposure to numerous carcinogenic chemicals contained in cigarette smoke. In addition, it decreases the chances of premature birth or miscarriage. The unhealthy habit is also associated with the birth of underweight babies.
Women who stop smoking during their pregnancy have higher chances to breastfeed for more than six months (Dennis, 2016). The practice leads to numerous benefits for infants because the milk is uncontaminated. Smoking cessation during pregnancy also helps women to save money, which would have been spent on buying cigarettes. This provides an expectant woman with the necessary emotional stability that plays a key role in improving pregnancy outcomes (Dennis, 2016). The ability to save money acts as a motivating factor for pregnant women to give up the habit. Smoking cessation helps to prioritize the health of the infant because it promotes the development of crucial organs such as the heart and lungs.
Refraining from smoking during pregnancy lowers the levels of carbon monoxide in the body and eradicates the risks of miscarriage and underweight babies. Moreover, it protects women from developing diseases such as cancer, stroke, and coronary heart disease. It is important to avoid smoking during pregnancy in order to improve the health of the mother and the unborn baby.
Dennis, S. (2016). Smoke free: A social, moral and political atmosphere. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Publishing.